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Time for a Camping Trip


Summer is here.  It’s time to go camping.  Memories from the past, from family outings with 9 siblings in earlier years--we would plan, dream and chatter about the next camping trip for months.  Finally, it was time, and the oldest last-patched clothes were all cleaned up, folded and packed, sandwiches and food lovingly prepared and iced in coolers, a prized orange 13’ square umbrella tent strapped to the luggage rack, sleeping bags, all equipment packed, we would head out in a cumbersome top-heavy 1960’s Volkswagen van for the mountains.


Dad was proud of his family.  Our travel outfits were black and white striped T shirts (the prison garb of the time, and cheap) to be readily identifiable and easily rounded up at stops.  Dad led us in songs while driving on the road.  Otherwise, we were a quiet crew, and often embarrassed to be the slowest 35mph vehicle heading up a narrow mountain pass, leading a line of faster cars desperately wanting to pass.  Dad addressed this with a sign posted on the back of the van: “I may be slow but I’m ahead of you.”  We hoped they would cheer us on as they finally passed by.  Mostly they did. 


"Memories from the past, from family outings with 9 siblings in earlier years--we would plan, dream and chatter about the next camping trip for months."

Being in a car with 12 people was not always fun; seating arrangements were often re-assigned depending on assorted flareups, and comic books were available for time outs.  The engine might overheat, with a pullover at the side of the road requiring some creative extracurricular entertainment.  But coming soon, ahead, there was always a quirky museum or touristy site to visit, and a mountain stream in which to drop a fishing line.  And of course, always, there was prayer.


Arriving finally at the camp site, after some pinecone throwing, we got down to work.  Setting up the tent and propane stove, getting the babies organized, surveying and claiming the compound, it was so awesome to have arrived.  Seeing beautiful mountains, rushing streams, deer, squirrels, a beaver dam, and exotic new bugs.  By this time we were living in the moment.  With all this work we had truly arrived in a different place. 


"Arriving finally at the camp site, after some pinecone throwing, we got down to work." 

It is the same with our faith.  It needs to be renewed.  It is summertime, let’s not just sit around and think about it, let’s go camping and invite God along for the ride.  Get family and friends together, plan a little outing, dream, make some arrangements, and let God take us someplace new.  He wants us to get outside ourselves for a break, learn something new about living in the moment, and is aching to be part of the adventure.  Take a little time, pray, get lost with the Lord and fall in love again.  You don’t have to go far, and you will be in high company.  Reward yourself and take a break.  Blessings on your summer faith camping trip!

+Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg

Bishop of Pueblo




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